Camden County teams with local college to expand New Jersey’s wine industry

Camden County is getting into the wine industry while also giving students a chance to learn the business.

News 12 Staff

Oct 5, 2021, 11:45 PM

Updated 1,023 days ago

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Camden County is getting into the wine industry while also giving students a chance to learn the business.
From the vineyards in Blackwood, to the Amalthea Cellars Winery in Atco – the grapes are the first in a pilot program that the county is taking on.
“We’re going to harvest somewhere around 1,100 pounds of grapes this year. In future years, we’re hoping to harvest almost around 7,000 pounds of grapes,” says Camden County Commissioner Johnathan Young.
The grapevines are located on county property in Blackwood. They have been growing for three years. It is the hope that the grapes can then be sold to local wineries to fill the grape shortage. Amalthea was the first buyer.
“Every winery is putting in grapes, but there’s not too many farms that are going to grapes because it’s a very expensive upfront…You wait for years for a crop. It’s hard because of our rainy Septembers,” says Amalthea owner Lou Caracciolo.
Camden County College is also jumping on board, by creating a program where students will learn about maintaining the vines and the entire process of making wine.
“We have already developed or are in the process of developing a certificate of achievement in viticulture and will be offering a course ‘An Introduction in Viticulture’ in the spring semester coming up,” says college president Don Borden.
Those involved say that this program will be essential to continuing the tradition of winemaking.
"In Europe, they always had apprenticeships. We sort of lost that in America…The apprenticeship can't be beat when you're talking about real education.” says Caracciolo.
Camden County is hoping to find more open space to create more vineyards and expand the program in the future.


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